Data takes centre stage
Read the 2017 wrap-up edition of Sibos Issues online
Whether you spent Sibos 2017 focused on a particular topic, tied up in meetings or watching from afar, the Sibos Issues wrap-up edition provides the definitive review of the world’s premier financial services conference – across all plenary sessions and streams.
Hosted in a city with strong claims to being the home of artificial intelligence (AI), it was perhaps inevitable that data would feature strongly throughout Sibos 2017 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The potential for banking services to be reshaped by more efficient use of ever-expanding data sources was a recurrent theme in Monday’s opening plenary speech given by Royal Bank of Canada CEO and president Dave McKay, Tuesday’s entire Innotribe agenda and Wednesday’s ‘Future of Money’ plenary session. Speakers from outside the industry – notably US Navy Admiral Michelle Howard, Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella – also gave their perspectives on how banks should approach the challenges of this great technological leap forward.
In fact, the implications of digitisation were never far away from the thoughts of speakers and delegates across a packed four-day agenda. Monday’s ‘Cybersecurity and digitisation’ plenary session, for example, recognised the widening attack surface for cyber criminals resulting from service digitisation in the banking industry. And throughout the week, other cybersecurity sessions – as well as the two-day compliance stream – underlined the potential opportunities to harness data to protect banks and their customers, both through greater information-sharing channels and the deployment of AI-based tools to support expert staff.
Banks’ increasing need to leverage data also has a number of strategic implications, of course, as reflected both in Thursday’s plenary session on disruptive technologies and in the technology stream sessions throughout the week. Frequently, panel sessions analysed the practical challenges of working with FinTechs to develop innovative banking services, whilst potential threats were also highlighted, notably that of ‘BigTech’ firms expanding further into financial services. On a practical level, the Standards Forum considered when and how new technologies such as blockchain and APIs should be further standardised, but also focused on the gains already being achieved through the use of ISO 20022 across many payments and securities market infrastructures.
These platforms for innovation were also the central concern of the banking and securities streams throughout Sibos 2017. In banking, much attention was focused on the scope for SWIFT’s global payments innovation service to boost correspondent banking services, as well as the challenges and opportunities presented by instant placement platforms. Similarly, the securities stream reflected a strong industry appetite to take advantage of TARGET2-Securities, the European Central Bank’s newly-completed single settlement platform, whilst also exploring the potential benefits of blockchain and AI to generate new process efficiencies and value propositions.
How will the potential of data be explored across the banking sector during the next 12 months? Each bank will have its own perspective and priorities but for an industry-level view Sibos 2018 in Sydney may well have the answer.